India is a top market for cruising from Singapore with double digit growth

Cruising from Singapore is steadily becoming one of the key activities Indian travelers consider when planning their holiday itinerary in the Lion City. In 2016, Singapore reported 1.2 million cruise passengers with a double digit growth of 16 per cent as compared to 2015, out of which 100,000 were from India, an increase of 29 per cent over 2015 figures.

Recognizing the potential that the segment holds, Singapore Tourism Board (STB) organized the second edition of its India Cruise Forum in Mumbai today which was attended by 120 people. The day-long forum featured a thought provoking panel that touched on the challenges and opportunities of Growing India’s Cruise Travel Market, led by GB Srithar, Regional Director for South Asia, Middle East & Africa (RD SAMEA), STB with panelists Nalini Gupta, Managing Director, Lotus Destinations (GSA of Costa Cruise India), Naresh Rawal, Vice President Sales, Genting Cruise Lines – Star Cruises, Dream Cruises and Crystal Cruises, Suzanne Perreira, Senior Vice President Sales, Trade Relationships and Communications, Thomas Cook India, Anita Raja, Regional Manager – South India, TIRUN Travel Marketing and Harshali Darpel, Senior Manager – Western India, Cruise Professionals.

This was followed by an interactive workshop by Peter Kollar, Head of International Training and Development at Cruise Lines International Association, aimed at educating cruise sellers with the finer techniques of selling Cruise and cruise holidays.

“India is a key source market for cruising out of Singapore. STB will continue to work closely with in-market partners to raise awareness of cruising as a great holiday option and sustain the growth of Singapore as a cruising hub in South East Asia. According to a consumer survey conducted in Mumbai, 34% of young Indian families are willing to spend INR 100,000 – 200,000 on a cruise holiday and 98% of the 500 travellers surveyed are open to a cruise from Singapore. There are exciting opportunities ahead and we will continue to partner with our travel trade and cruise partners to grow Singapore’s cruise Industry and promote its strong destination appeal,” said Mr. G.B Srithar, RD SAMEA, STB.

Industry initiatives to strengthen Southeast Asia cruise appeal  

Also present at the event was Ms Annie Chang, Director, Cruise, STB, who touched on the initiatives Singapore has put in place to ensure that the Lion City remains prominent in the minds of the cruise community as an attractive cruise hub.

“The cruise forum is a valuable platform to reach out to cruise trade partners   in an important market like India, and explore opportunities to work together to grow market demand for cruising out of Singapore.  Through schemes such as the enhanced Cruise Development Fund (CDF), we supported travel agents and event organisers in six successful charters in the past year, which brought in close to 10,000 cruise passengers to Singapore and broadened the breadth and depth of cruise offerings in Singapore through innovative programming onboard the chartered sailings. As cruise brands increased their presence in Singapore, we will continue to partner the industry to accelerate source market demand and port development in the region.”

Beginning 3 December 2017, Singapore will be the home port for the Genting Dream luxury liner for a year-long deployment, while Royal Caribbean International announced its longest-ever deployment in Singapore from 2017 to 2019. For its 2017/18 season, it will have a total of 72 Singapore sailings on Mariner of the Seas, Ovation of the Seas and Voyager of the Seas.

A prominent travel destination and maritime centre in Asia, Singapore boasts unmatched air connectivity where cruise opportunities abound. Singapore Cruise Centre’s and Marina Bay Cruise Centre’s Cruise-Fly services, the region’s first sea-to-air baggage transfer service, allows a greater flexibility in planning a travel itinerary in Singapore. Being the chair of the ASEAN Promotional Chapter for Tourism (APCT) this year in India, STB will continue to push the boundaries in establishing Southeast Asia as the cruise region of choice and encourage more visitors to experience cruising here.

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